When you are pursuing a personal injury case, it's important to understand what a personal injury attorney can and can't do for you. Here are five aspects of that issue you should know about before you retain personal injury attorney services.
Can Handle Most of the Paperwork
To be clear, a lot of the work in an injury case tends to be assembling and presenting documentation. A personal injury attorney usually employs at least one person who helps them with nothing but loads of tasks such as making copies, filing things away, reading reports, and mailing stuff out. The law firm keeps tabs on basic information like when the injuries occurred, what the filing date for the claim was, and who received what. It's a job that has to be handled precisely and professionally every time.
Can't Make Decisions for You
While a lawyer can provide you with advice, all of the decision-making is up to you. Your personal injury attorney will be required by law to tell you if and when a settlement offer comes in from the insurance company. Likewise, they can advise you on what they think of the offer. Eventually, though, you will have to make the decisions and sign the documents.
Can Translate Legalese
You are going to have tons of terms thrown at you while discussing your injury case. As you're sitting there wondering what the difference between comparative and contributory negligence is, for example, your lawyer will help you translate the concept to plain English.
Might Be Able to Handle Some of the Initial Expenses
First, it's important to understand that an attorney's goal when they take on an injury claim is to make back everything they put into it. However, a lawyer can take some of the hit by paying for things like documentation and investigation. Bear in mind that your attorney will add these expenses at the end of the case to whatever percentage of the settlement or judgment you both agreed to. If they spent $20,000 to bring in an expert witness, for example, that $20,000 will be billed on top of the contingency fee.
Working with an insurance company to reach a settlement rarely yields a winning offer on the first try. Negotiations are a normal part of personal injury attorney services, and your lawyer can handle the back and forth while keeping you in the loop.